BoDeans and Taylor Hicks Prove Fan Favorites at Genesee Theatre: Part 2
Review and Photography by Louise Uznanski for OnTapBlog
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BoDeans entered the Genesee Theatre stage on Sunday warmly greeted by an enthusiastic audience already on their feet before the first note was played. Their headlining set on a double bill that included a well-received opening set by American Idol, Taylor Hicks, would be one of the rock band’s last stops on their current tour.
The typed setlist for the night’s performance was found lying by the Genesee Theatre’s soundboard operator as he awaited the start of the show. The list was drawn primarily from the band’s eleven previously released albums (BoDeans Discography) and consisted of songs that have become classic rock anthems for BoDeans’ fans since their emergence onto the music scene in the early 80’s.
Before the opening number, Kurt Neumann, the lead singer and one of the band’s founders, told the audience how thankful the band is for their fans continued loyalty to their music after over thirty years of touring. He added that their story began like so many other American rock bands had, when, as kids, they started creating their sound in the basements and garages of rural Wisconsin. Now, over thirty years later, the band and their fans are still together and still rocking.
BoDeans song lyrics are filled with the dreams and hopes culled from the American experience. Performing songs with titles such as ‘Dreams’, ‘Paradise’, ‘Texas Road Song’, ‘All the World’, ‘Angels’, ‘American’, ‘Good Work’, and their most well known, ‘Good Things’ and ‘Closer To Free’, the BoDeans have maintained a foothold in classic American roots rock music long after their 1983 critically acclaimed debut album, ‘Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams‘ was released. During Sunday’s performance, the band offered these themes in a continuous stream, switching from one classic to another, seemingly without taking a breath. ‘I Can’t Stop/Slave’, a song from their upcoming album ‘I Can’t Stop‘, served as a preview of what’s new for BoDeans ahead of the album’s April, 2015 release.
Kurt Neumann, lead vocalist and electric guitarist, co-founded BoDeans with Sam Llanas. Llanas left the band right after the release of ‘Indigo Dreams‘ in 2011, leaving Kurt with a difficult choice to make. Deciding not to disband, Neumann regrouped and pledged to write new, energetic rock/pop music for the band’s ‘rebirth’. 2012’s ‘American Made‘ is an homage to Neumann’s passion and determination to continue on as a band. Their musical performances after the release of ‘American Made‘ are classic BoDeans with some twists back to roots rock and a forward-thinking infusion of pop.
Joining Neumann on the Genesee stage were long-time friends Sam Hawksley on guitar and back-up vocals, Kenny Aronoff on drums, Zak Sparks on bass, Dave Duffy on violin and Stefano Intalesano on keys and accordion. The defining aspect of a BoDeans performance is the skilled musicianship. The transitions from band play to solos and back again are seamless. And, despite changing band members and musical directions over the years, the band has made it their trademark to always be on the same page when it comes to the music.
For their commitment to keeping their sound alive in each performance, BoDeans is rewarded by a loyal audience who becomes a sea of back-up singers, singing the words to the band with vigor and conviction. As if transported back to the time when the audience had dreams of starting a great American band in their parent’s garage, Sunday night with BoDeans at the Genesee Theatre made that dream feel real, if only for the few minutes they were on their feet singing the words to ‘Closer to Free’.
The following photo gallery contains some of the images captured at BoDeans December 28th performance at the Genesee Theatre.